Big Data tying knots in HIT workforce

Anthony Brino | Government HealthIT | August 1, 2013

What health information technology professionals “really need is training in informatics,” said William Hersh, MD, chair of Oregon Health & Science University’s Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology.

At hospitals and health systems across the country, EMR implementations, accountable care contacts and meaningful use are all driving a need for workers who can bridge the clinical and informatics gap — making clinicians’ lives easier, satisfying hospital administrators’ deadlines for regulatory compliance and helping the enterprise use its population health data better.

The needed skills revolve around data management and science, Hersh said, including “the ability to collect and manage clinical and other data and to put it to use in improving individual health, healthcare, public health, and research.”

Providers in somes areas are scrambling to find workers with those skills — to such an extent that 30 percent of respondents in a recent HIMSS Analytics survey had placed an IT project on hold for lack of staffing.

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